Telecommunications giant, MTN Communications Limited has taken the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as well as the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) to court over the former’s imposition of a hefty fine for funds repatriation violations.
MTN announced that it decided to take both parties to court because it was its duty to protect the assets of MTN Nigeria as well as the rights of its shareholders within the limits of the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Read the statement below;
“Further announcement regarding Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Attorney General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (AGF) matters and renewal of cautionary announcement.
As previously disclosed the CBN has alleged improper dividend repatriations by MTN Nigeria Communications Limited (MTN Nigeria) and requested that $8.1 billion be returned “to the coffers of the CBN” whilst the AGF has alleged unpaid taxes on foreign payments and imports and that approximately $2.0 billion in relation to these taxes be paid to the Federal Government of Nigeria (and now directed that the payment of the $8.1 billion is dealt with through his office rather than as directed by the CBN).
MTN Nigeria has denied these allegations and claims. Furthermore, four commercial banks were issued fines in respect of the administration of the CCI and irregular dividend repatriation matter and requested to return, in aggregate, the same $8.1billion.
In order to protect MTN Nigeria’s assets and shareholder rights within the confines of Nigerian law, we have applied today in the Federal High Court of Nigeria for injunctive relief restraining the CBN and the AGF from taking further action in respect of their orders, while we continue to engage with the relevant authorities on these matters.
We remain resolute that MTN Nigeria has not committed any offences and will continue to vigorously defend its position.
We will provide further information as and when available. Shareholders are accordingly advised to continue to exercise caution when dealing in the Company’s securities until a further announcement is made.”
The move comes in the wake of repatriation violation fines deal the Telecommunications giant for profit repatriation irregularities. It is also likely to send MTN Nigeria shares tumbling in the Capital market in the days to come.